Established in 1899, Böle is one of the last standing spruce bark tanneries in the world. They still use the same process as they did over a century ago; even the water in their tanning vats hasn't been changed (since 1918). This is leather tradition at it's finest.
They have been able to stick to their philosophy and process largely because they have maintained the business in their family for the last four generations. Proprietor Anders Sandlund was born into this heritage, as was his father and grandfather. The company was started by Oskar Sandlund, Anders' great grandfather, in the small town of Böle in the North of Sweden. The company flourished early on due to a large demand for utility goods by the booming farming industry in the surrounding area. Their current tannery is in a building (opened in 1918) on the Pite river, the same river that supplied the water for their tanning vats.
Their process takes time, and their attention to quality and tradition guarantees that no corners are cut. A single hide can take a year to tan, but the results are worth the wait and the work. They source the hide locally, using Swedish cattle hide and Nordic reindeer. As for their process, sustainability is a main concern. Modern tanneries have bad reputations for using harmful chemicals, polluting bodies of water and financing bad work conditions. Böle aims to be the most sustainable company in the leather industry. Their materials are renewable; spruce bark grows all around the area and the hides are a by-product. They use natural processes too. Meaning that they only use natural ingredients, consume a minimum of energy and water and only generate biodegradable waste.
Their craftsmanship and tradition have not gone unnoticed in the area. In 1996, Böle was appointed royal purveyor to the King of Sweden. This means that the company was appointed by the Royal Court to supply goods or services to a member of the Royal Family.
*we hold no rights to these images